During the design phase, Elements will help you make good design decisions to ensure that your home has enough space and storage to help you stay organized. That being said, we realize with our hectic lives, it can be difficult to keep an organized home, even with the best of planning. And the thought of going through overcrowded closets or cleaning out storage bins can be overwhelming! Here are some tips to help you tackle the clutter and keep your home in order.
How to Keep an Organized Home
Take it one step at a time
First of all, don’t try to attack the entire house. Take it one step at a time. Start with something small. For example, if your junk drawer is full, it’s time to clean out. Don’t start another drawer! Instead, follow these 6 steps:
- Empty the drawer completely and go through everything.
- Throw away anything that you don’t need. (If you haven’t used it in 6 months, you probably don’t need it!)
- Scan needed paperwork to create a PDF file. That way, you still have a record but don’t have to keep hard copies.
- Start a “give-away” pile and add to it as you go through other drawers, cabinets, and closets.
- Remove items from their original packages and use small plastic containers to hold things such as batteries or superglue.
- After you’ve gone through everything (throwing or giving away much of it!), wipe out the drawer and neatly put what’s left back in its place.
The Important Stuff
For some (like my wife), it gets more complicated when going through sentimental items. My wife can attach a story to everything and seems to always have a reason that she needs to keep something. Because we downsized, we had to let go of things, however. So, she started taking pictures of sentimental pieces. That way, she could still look at them without having the actual item in a storage bin. Not only did she clean out, but she’s discovered that she actually looks at the pictures more because it’s much easier to pull out her computer than a heavy storage container!
Continuing with the sentimental, we have scanned old photo albums so that we still have the pictures, but none of the bulky photo albums. We also scan artwork that our nieces make, as well as cards and letters. Again, this allows us to keep things that are important, but all we have to store is a laptop rather than boxes and boxes of stuff.
The thing with organizing is you just have to start. Once you finish a project, you will have more motivation to continue. And if you will do little things each day, such as make the bed, put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and go through the mail rather than leaving it on a counter, your house will stay neat and you won’t get so overwhelmed!